Starship banned by the FAA?
They’re coming for you next: An FAA official revealed yesterday that the agency has not approved the launch tower that SpaceX is building for its Starship/Superheavy rocket in Boca Chica, Texas, and threatened that if disapproved the government would force the company to tear it down.
The Federal Aviation Administration warned Elon Musk’s SpaceX in a letter two months ago that the company’s work on a launch tower for future Starship rocket launches is yet unapproved, and will be included in the agency’s ongoing environmental review of the facility in Boca Chica, Texas. “The company is building the tower at its own risk,” an FAA spokesperson told CNBC on Wednesday, noting that the environmental review could recommend taking down the launch tower.
The FAA last year began an environmental review of SpaceX’s Starship development facility, as Musk’s company said it planned to apply for licenses to launch the next-generation rocket prototypes from Boca Chica. While the FAA completed an environmental assessment of the area in 2014, that review was specific to SpaceX’s much-smaller Falcon series of rockets.
This revelation from FAA officials is most interestingly timed, coming on the same day as this garbage article about the terrible environmental damages some activists imagine SpaceX’s launch facility might someday cause. As is usual for a mainstream news source, the article makes no reference to the wildlife preserve that surrounds the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where we have empirical proof for more than a half century that a spaceport does no harm to the environment and actually acts to protect it from development.
Nor was this the only such attack article in the past two days. Here is just a sampling:
- Boston Review: Lost in Space
- The Independent: The global super-rich are taking joyrides in space as our precious planet burns
- Jacobin: Leave the Billionaires in Space
While the last two op-eds above are partly in response to Richard Branson’s suborbital flight on July 11th, their timing and linkage to the FAA’s revelation yesterday is no accident. Forces in and out of government that are strongly hostile to private enterprise and its ability to get things done are working together hard to squelch the new renaissance in commercial space, precisely because it shows how successful capitalism and freedom are compared to the bloated, wasteful, inefficient government-run space programs that we have been saddled with for decades and have gotten us nowhere during that time.
SpaceX apparently has decided that it is better to ask forgiveness than wait for permission, knowing that if it depends on the approval of these leftist control freaks it will never get anything built. Building the tower now makes it very hard for government bureaucrats to rule against it. The company knows that what it is doing is incredibly popular with the general public. To block their effort in so public and destructive a way would send tsunami waves through government that would wash over the FAA and crush it.
SpaceX and Elon Musk should be warned however. A victory in this battle is not assured. America is now filled with people who hate freedom, despise and resent the achievement of others, and now control a powerful and wealthy government that they eagerly use to squelch what they hate. And they have clearly been moving aggressively in the past year to do so. Space X is not immune from such attacks, and could easily find itself squashed.
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